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Christian Blog Christian Living

Hunger Stone

Confession: one of my favorite pass times is checking what’s trending on Wikipedia. Last night I found a captivating article about hunger stones. These are large rocks set into river banks during times of extreme drought. Meant to serve as cautionary signs for those in the future, when such markers become visible it means hard times have returned.

The hunger stone pictured above sits on a bank of the Elbe river in the Czech Republic. There are low-water dates chiseled into the rock, the oldest readable one being from 1616! Long ago, someone also carved a message into this particular stone: “Wenn du mich Siehst, dann weine.” (lit. “If you see me, weep.”)

When I read the translation, my first thought was, “How sad it would be to read this and decide the situation was hopeless.” Just because some folks back in the 17th century had a hard time, is it guaranteed to happen again?

Confession #2: as a person of faith, I find it unproductive to be negative about the future. As long as God is in charge, there will be a lot more that’s right with the world than wrong. But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s the prophet Joel:

To you, O Lord, I call, for fire has devoured the open pastures and flames have burned up all the trees of the field. Even the wild animals pant for you; the streams of water have dried up and fire has devoured the open pastures.

Joel 1:19-20 (NIV)

Ok, that’s a bit of a downer. But hone in on the first six words, “To you, O Lord, I call…”

Kind reader, the hope of heaven will be readily available–no matter how low the river goes. The prophet Joel believed it, and so should we.

Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity.

Joel 2:13 (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.


Photo by Dr. Bernd Gross, Wikipedia

Categories
Christian Living spiritual growth

One Piece at a Time

The singer Johnny Cash has a humorous song that’s a classic “Country boy outsmarts the establishment” story.

According to the song, in 1949 a young man from Kentucky takes a job on an assembly line in Detroit, Michigan building Cadillacs. He is in awe of the beautiful sedans, but is saddened by the fact that he can’t afford one.

One day, he comes up with a daring plan which is revealed in the chorus: 🎶 “I’ll get it one piece at a time, and it won’t cost me a dime.”🎶 Slowly, over the next twenty-odd years, the man sneaks out Cadillac parts–a few at a time–until he has a whole car.

Finally, when he’s ready to retire, he and his friends from the auto plant decide to assemble the one-of-a-kind Caddy. However, they quickly discover that many of the parts, from different year models, don’t fit together.

So they drill new holes for bolts and use an adapter kit to make the 1973 engine work with the 1949 transmission. Soon enough the car is running and driving, but then the guys realize it has only one tail fin and three head lights!

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power if from God and not from us.

2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV)

The other day I complained (just a wee bit) to God. 🙏 Lord, as a teenager I dedicated my life to serve You in the gospel ministry. Remember that? But 14 years later everything fell apart. Why?

Kind reader, did you ever long for a brand new spiritual “Cadillac,” only to realize you couldn’t afford one? Me too. But then God said something –the same thing He told the Apostle Paul:

My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9a (NIV)

In other words, God gives us what we need. One piece at a time. And His generosity doesn’t cost us a dime. Yet, unlike the song, we aren’t sneaking off with the unaffordable. This custom ride is a gift.

A fender here, a door there, over the course of many years walking with the Lord. Does it matter all that much if they don’t match?

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9b (NIV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.


Photo by carlos aranda on Unsplash

Categories
Christian Blog Christian Living

The Oak in the Middle

As you approach an intersection, in one of my favorite neighborhoods, there’s a massive tree in the middle of the road.

I’ve driven by many times but never stopped. Until the other day. Curiosity got the best of me, so I parked my car and walked up under the expansive canopy.

A quick Google search told me the tree is a Burr Oak—a slow-growing hardwood that lives up to 400 years!

Now I realized why the powers-that-be built the road around this stately survivor. “Just how old are you?” I asked the tree. It didn’t answer, of course.😊

I decided to find out.

Another internet search yielded a formula to find the approximate age of a tree. I returned the next day to take the needed measurements. After plugging in the numbers, and doing the math, I had the answer: 260 years!

Kathlyn Tsang, at Tree of Healing Ministries wrote something recently that reminds me of the old oak tree’s endurance: “The sanctification process is a lifetime commitment.”

If God wants to grow an oak tree He’ll take a hundred years. This is the backdrop for what the Apostle Paul told the Christians at Philippi.

Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose

Philippians 2:12b-13 (NIV)

Kind reader, if God can look after a tree for two-and-a-half centuries, then He can look after you and me. Nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39).

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️

“They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor “Isaiah 61:3b (NIV)